Learning how to handle your business card advertising is one of the primary promotions to consider when going into your own business.
Business cards are the first "remembrance item" you give to someone after pitching your business and making a personal connection.
Here are 13 profitable ways to make your business card advertising memorable, easy to read and ready to be acted upon.
1. Business cards must have a two-fold purpose in order to draw customers to you.
a. The first purpose is to act as a "memory jogger" about the conversation you had with your potential client or referral source.
b. The second is to get them to take "the next step" that could be a visit your website, blog or to call you.
2. In many ways, your business card is like a mini-ad. It can use a headline, an attention-getting photo or logo, some brief text and essential contact information.
3. Putting a professional photo of yourself on your business card helps those you have talked with to remember you. It links your image to your written name, position and company. Include a company logo, particularly if you are an independent sales person for a well-known company.
4. You'll also want to include a quick phrase of recognition that answers their "What's In It For Me" question.
5. Try to conform to the standard 2" high x 3 1/2" wide size for psychological acceptance as a real business. This size also gives you convenient storage with other business cards. Weird or odd sizes, although creative, may alienate decision makers with traditional business values.
MAGNETIC TIP: Your own standard sized business card can be stuck onto magnetic business cards available at all of the major office supply chain stores! This is a wonderful way to expand your business card advertising applications. If the magnetic versions prove popular enough, consider having them made up in quantity.
6. Make sure you use some sort of quality printing: either raised type, 4-color photo, glossy paper, smooth cut edges, heavy paper, etc. If you can't invest $50 to $100 or less in printing your business card advertising, why would a client want to invest their money with you?
Your goal: to show you are a legitimate business.
7. Caution: Do not print your business cards on a laser printer. The big companies don't and neither should you, especially if you want to get taken seriously.
Instead, find a quality four-color copy shop that has top-notch equipment that looks like traditional printing.
Note: (Laser or ink jet printers are great for testing different layouts and designs to show to your business friends for evaluations.)
8. About using the reverse side:
Choose paper (or another material) that is easy to write on. Many businesses use the reverse side to record appointments. Veteran networkers turn the business card over and write about their contact when they get home from attending an event.
Another use is to provide a helpful tip. Some small businesses list specific product lines or services.
Cater what's on the reverse side to the buying process that your customers follow.
9. Make it easy for everyone to contact you directly using their individual preferences.
Let's assume you have included essential information that is quickly read.
Please recognize that different people have different communication styles: some like e-mail, others prefer direct telephone numbers, etc.
When you give them your card, ask "How should I contact you?" Then you can respond to their inquiry with the style they prefer.
10. Always carry an adequate supply of business cards. Quite often, you'll have a great impromptu conversation on the beach, at a restaurant or on the bus. One of you will say, "I'm sorry, I ran out of business cards." To me, that's poor follow-through for your business card advertising efforts. Some people say it is a forecast of how they will be handled in the future.
Instead, you could tap into your "emergency back-up cards" which are always in your wallet or on your person. (Even your beach bag!) At least your new acquaintance walks away with a card, even though it may be slightly bent.
11. You'll find bulletin boards where you can post your business card advertising at grocery stores, diners and other community locations. But remember, this is similar to advertising in a general interest newspaper that may or may not be targeted to reach the audience you desire.
12. A more effective way would be to examine the buying habits of your customers. Find out what kind of person recommends purchases of the products or services you are selling.
For example, one personal counseling service thrives on references from doctors and other health professionals. The counselors mail an introductory letter, enclose their business card and follow up with a personal request for an appointment.
13. See how your business card compares to others you have collected! Ask yourself (and others) if those other cards will help to get someone to call?
Business networking is so very important to the small business person as you build relationships.
Learn to make your business connection when you are talking to others, then confirm your relationship with a business card.
These tips will help your business card advertising become more effective.
• Go to our Site Map for over 40 original articles on small business advertising.